Preparing for Your New Pup
Celhaus German Shepherds
Personality Brains Beauty
4817 Big Horn Ave.
Sheridan, WY 82801
(307) 674-4800 (evenings)
Preparing for your new Celhaus puppy!!
You are purchasing a beautiful, healthy pup who has the potential to become anything you want it to be. With an impeccable pedigree, extremely healthy and vigorous parents who have been intensively screened, and lots of TLC since conception, your pup has had a great start in life. I chose these bloodlines because the dogs are highly intelligent, willing, and outgoing. They have a very special joy of life and meet people and new experiences with fervor. They are just plain fun to live with and to train.
Socialize, Socialize, Socialize I’ve devoted an entire webpage for this extremely important part of YOUR job!
Manners I’ve devoted an entire webpage for this extremely important part of YOUR job!
DO Attend Puppy Kindergarten Classes
I’ve taught your pup to enjoy learning and trying new things. You must train her, channel her fine mind, so that she becomes a good canine citizen. Take her to puppy kindergarten class once she’s at least had her 2nd shot at 3 months–but choose your class carefully. Use only incentive training (no corrections) and lots of praise. Also make sure that only puppies are allowed in the class. Don’t put her in a situation where she can get knocked around and scared. When she’s older, take her to obedience class and then on into one of the many fun activities now available–such as agility, Freestyle, herding, tracking, etc. And, if you’re at all interested, look into certifying her as a Therapy Dog and visiting the legions of sick and lonely in our society.
Collar & Lead
To start with, the best collar to get is one of those which snap together (puppies are terribly wiggley). Normally a 12″ collar will fit your 8 week old puppy. You’ll need a 6’ lead, too, but you don’t need one of those heavy ones with the huge brass snaps. Even with Chao, who weighs 86 pounds, I use a 1/2’ lead. These are so easy to handle and are plenty strong for normal use. For my grown dogs, I like to get those round soft collars made of mountaineering rope, because they don’t mess up that beautiful GSD ruff. Babies don’t have a ruff yet, so a flat snap collar works great for them.
I also like to use a Flexi-Lead for walks, because it gives the pup lots of freedom to explore as we walk–which the pup needs to do in order to learn what life is like. Or get a LIGHT 15’ long line if you don’t want to use the Flexi-Lead.
Ordering the supplies I mention:
My favorite dog catalog to order from is Valley Vet. They have free shipping if you order more than $50 at a time. 1-800-360-4838 or www.valleyvet.com. Another is www.UPCO.com
Valley Vet & UPCO also have catalogs they’ll mail you. You might also get these catalogs:
Drs. Foster & Smith, 1-800-826-7206 or www.drsfostersmith.com. They are nice because you can call 24 hours a day.
R. C. Steele, 1-800-872-3773 (no website that I know of).
Sometimes one of these will have much better prices on something you want than the others, so check all of them.
For dog training and other books, a great catalog is Dog & Cat Book Catalog, 1-800-776-2665 or www.dogandcatbooks.com
The only item you’ll need right now is a good pair of nail trimmers. Puppy’s toenails will need to be trimmed weekly. Don’t get those guillotine type; instead invest in a good set that look like pliers. Even better, use a Dremmel grinder with fine sandpaper.
As for brushes for when your puppy has its double coat, be sure to get brushes that are made for dogs with two coats–the longer, wiry outer coat and the softer, “fuzzy” undercoat. Usually these are called slicker brushes. Ask before you order for the one that works best for GSD’s. For shedding times, invest in a good undercoat rake and in a shedding blade. I really like the Furrinator. This breed is often called the “German Shedder”, so be prepared when your puppy sheds her cute fuzzy puppy coat and develops the adult double coat which protects her from weather and insects.
Preparing Your Pup’s New Home
It is going to be a shock to your pup to leave his familiar home and littermates to go alone to your strange house. Be sure to have a bed prepared for him ahead of time–a quiet place he can come to call his own. I recommend a crate for sleeping and when you’re unable to watch him–just make sure he’s not confined for hours upon hours–that’s abuse. But dogs are den animals and like their crates. Mine often chose to nap in theirs and prefer to sleep in them all night (the doors are always open to accommodate them.) I also feed mine in theirs so no one bothers anyone. Your pup usually has had a few crate lessons before he leaves here (placed individually in a crate with a fresh knucklebone for perhaps 30 minutes at a time), but it will probably cry for a while in yours. An old wind-up clock, wrapped in a towel, can be a comfort those first few nights he has to sleep without his littermates. Sometimes a hot water bottle helps, too. When I crate train mine, I always put them in with a special treat they never get anywhere or anytime else–the knucklebone, or a special toy, or a big Milkbone, or his meal. Within a few days that crate is a GREAT place. You can either choose a VariKennel (plastic, “closed”) or a wire crate (more open, but easier to take with you as it folds up to a suitcase size). You can always throw an old sheet over the wire crate to make it more enclosed if you need to. I prefer to have a wire crate in the car because it doesn’t block my rear view as I drive. I recommend getting the size crate your pup will need as a grown dog, a #500. This is approximately 40″ long x 27″ wide x 30″ high.
Preparing Your Other Animals For a New Puppy
You have two very important tasks when you are going to introduce a puppy into a home which already has animals. First, you need to make sure that the puppy will be safe in this environment. If you have dogs, they may be jealously aggressive towards the new “interloper”, or they might play too roughly with the new puppy, who is still very much a baby, or they may not give her enough time for sleep and rest (which is when she grows).
Now, long before the puppy comes, is the time to decide where the puppy will “live”, where you will allow supervised interaction between the puppy and your other dogs, and the areas that will belong to the older dogs so they don’t feel invaded and bothered by the newest member of the family. Your Celhaus puppy will have begun to learn dog manners by interacting with all 6 of my adults, but she will still have a lot to learn and will have a tendency to be a real pest. For her own safety, be sure all times with the other dogs are supervised. She might just pester even the nicest, most patient dog into finally retaliating. Those puppy teeth are needle sharp and she will think she can use them on anything that comes within reach. Your older dog might just give a nip in a vulnerable place and really hurt her.
Baby gates are excellent to keep the puppy in a confined area where you can watch her AND keep her from bothering your other animals, while at the same time allowing you to step over into other rooms. Get some early and experiment with possibilities for best placement. Remember to consider the type of flooring (for the inevitable puppy accidents, linoleum is much easier to clean than carpets.) Be sure to get down on the puppy’s level and look for any and all hazards. These include electrical outlets, electrical cords, houseplants, moveable articles that a puppy could get hold of (remember they put EVERYTHING in their mouths!) or anything that might be knocked over onto an exploring puppy’s head or body, and those ever-tempting furniture legs or parts. Consider the coming puppy able to get into any trouble which a two year old child might and prepare accordingly.
Be careful when you introduce the puppy to your other dogs. They may be quite territorial about “their” house and not appreciate an addition. This may not show at first, since many dogs are used to visitors coming for a while and then leaving them to their peaceful home and routine. After a few days of puppy they may realize that she is staying, and then you’ll have the troubles. Help them through the adjustment time by being sure they have as much attention as they’re used to. The puppy will take a lot of your time as you potty train, feed and socialize her. You can start now deciding how you will manage your time for the next couple of months to keep everybody happy. If you do this well, your older dogs will accept the new puppy and be good to her.
If you have cats, you’ll need to consider their comfort too. Cats are VERY territorial, so if you make arrangements to preserve puppy-free areas for them, the introduction will go relatively smoothly. As you consider the layout of your house with the most easily-available doors for potty training and floors for cleaning up inevitable messes, you may find that the best puppy area happens to be the favorite cat area. Now is the time to gradually move your cats to a more private area for sleeping and eating (and above all, litter boxes). You want to accomplish this long before the puppy arrives so that the cats don’t connect her with the changes in “their” house.
Preparing Small Children For a New Puppy
I hesitate to sell puppies to families with small children unless I am confident that the children have been raised with discipline, is used to limits and has been taught to respect other living things. The puppy will need to be supervised all the time when having interactions with the children, both for their safety and his. The children need to be taught to leave him alone when he’s eating or sleeping (another good reason for having a crate so he has his own special place where they don’t intrude). They also must know not to pull his ears or tail or try to pick him up and/or carry him. He is still a baby and can be easily hurt–and some injuries can cause long-term effects if his growth plates, for instance. He, on the other hand, has to learn not to use those needle-sharp teeth on the children, who by their shrill voices, quick movements, and running will incite his prey drive.
Before the puppy arrives, the best way to prepare children is often to role play how to treat him by using a stuffed toy (a puppy of course!). “Puppy” can be fed and watered, he can be put in his crate to sleep, he can be held in their laps as they sit on the floor. He can also be used to practice with the children how puppies will chase them if they run, grabbing at feet or hands, and how the child should stop running and not jerk away from those baby teeth.
I have been working on the puppies to give “kisses” rather than bites, but this will be a major job for you to complete once he comes to your home. The best way to train this is to continue using the “LEAVE IT!” command I’ve been teaching him plus always have an enticing diversion to use as a substitute to go in his mouth–a favorite toy or a treat, which then allows you to praise him “GOOD LEAVE IT”. If he doesn’t quit, often a time out in his crate for a few minutes will break the “wild mood” and result in a nice puppy coming forth to try again.
Try to problem solve everything you can think of before the puppy comes. I can help a lot from the puppy’s viewpoint, but you know your children’s strengths and weaknesses as far as behavior goes. Imagine every way there can be conflict between puppy and child, from the puppy’s point of view as well as the child’s, and begin to set rules and limits to define how they will interact from the very beginning. And again, let me reiterate: NO CHILD AND DOG SHOULD EVER BE LEFT TOGETHER WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION!!!
You must take your pup to your vet for a health check within 48 hours of purchase. If you haven’t had pets before and thus don’t have a vet, I often can help you find a good vet near you. Make an appointment before you come to pick your pup up. She is guaranteed to be free of infectious diseases until then, or else they’re my responsibility.
My pups are raised on the best food available so that they are vigorous and healthy and should live a long life. I recommend Holistic Select Large/Giant Breed Puppy Lamb kibble. Keep her on that at least 7 months. It is formulated to slow her growth while providing her with everything she needs to build healthy bones, joints & organs. Then gradually switch her to Holistic Select Adult.
German Shepherds are a fast growing breed. It’s pretty normal for them to gain 10 pounds a month (a 4 month puppy will be about 40 pounds, a 5 month puppy about 50 pounds, etc.) That’s a lot of growing. Help avoid growing problems and later conditions such as hip dysplasia by keeping him lean and in shape by giving him moderate exercise. Anything excessive is bad–to much food, too much exercise, too much fat, too much jumping. Every extra pound and every ounce of flab causes stress on the developing ligaments and joints. You can undo all the outstanding genetics your pup has and end up ruining him.
Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the hip joint is malformed, resulting in painful arthritis. It is partially genetically caused and partially environmentally caused. I’ve done my best to take care of the genetics. Now you need to protect those joints. The joints are cartilage until about 12 months, at which time they slowly become bone. Cartilage is soft and under repeated impact and stress will wear unevenly, so that the two parts of the joint don’t fit together smoothly. When the joint ossifies, the bone has rough edges and “grinds” in the joint. Don’t do this to your pup! Use some sense.
Your pup will be teething when he comes to you, and will for several months. Provide her with pig ears or rawhide chew bones or a beef knuckle bone or leg bone, when you’re going to be around to be sure she doesn’t choke. NEVER give pork, wild game or chicken bones of any kind, or any beef bones except those listed above. They can splinter in the intestine and kill him. Never give her any old shoes, gloves or people items, because she will not know the difference between them and your good ones and you’ll be unjustly setting her up for punishment.
You have time now to order those all-important chew toys so that you have them to “trade” for anything and everything in your house that the puppy thinks will be a good chewing object. Avoid the discount store rawhides and chews; they’re often made with poisons. A good place is www.i-pets.com; get the large retriever rolls.
You will not have too much trouble housebreaking your puppy if you remember a few rules. Of course, crates make things much easier because you can confine him unless you’re able to watch him and rush him outside before an accident. He has been raised in a very clean environment (I pick up the puppy yard at least 3 times daily), so he will instinctively try to eliminate away from his living space. Puppy’s bladder and sphincter muscles are not mature until they’re 4 months old and he is physically unable to “hold it” until then, so be ready with the bathroom rush routine.
Remember, your puppy will have to relieve himself immediately after waking from a nap, eating, drinking, playing, or any excitement. Any time your pup begins to get restless, circle, or sniff, be warned and get moving. This is approximately a million times a day. Establish a potty area before you ever get your pup. What area is convenient to the closest door to his crate? What area will you be content to have designated a “bathroom”? Plan ahead so you are prepared to take him there each time, from the very first time he sets foot inside your door. Leave the poop for a short while to help establish the enticing smell (pups like to go in established “bathrooms”).
Toys and games.
Puppies need toys. Usually owners get more toys than puppies actually need, so it’s a good idea to rotate them, putting some away for a while and replacing them with new ones. If she has toys scattered all over the house all the time, she won’t appreciate them. So keep a couple out at any one time, and every week or so put the “old “ones up and get out “new ones” (if they haven’t seen them for a few days they will think they’re new and be very excited to play with them). Be sure to get some soft toys; they love to chew on these. Just monitor them so they don’t destroy them or, if they contain squeakers, don’t get them out and swallow them.
It is also an excellent idea to have toys that they only get to play with you. Those become SPECIAL toys because the two of you spend bonding time with them. This also paves the way for any training you may want to do later, since toys are excellent motivators for getting the pup to do what you want.
Pups love those soft “sheepskin” toys, especially the squeaky ones. They’re also very gentle on those developing teeth. Another very popular puppy toy is a soft rope for playing tug.
My dogs’ favorite toys are balls thrown with a ChuckIt.
Their favorite winter (when the snow is too deep and balls get lost) toys are the Jolly Balls which are actually horse toys (for horses bored in stalls and small pens). These are soft rubber balls with handles which come in various sizes. I use the 10″ (largest) balls for my dogs; you might want to start with a smaller one for a baby pup). Don’t get those large “Indestructible Balls” which are very hard; they’ll raise big bumps on the dog’s legs.